I’ve now finished the first draft of the game (which now has a name!), including all art, sound and UI and am now in the process of proofreading and redrafting the script, fixing bugs and if I have time polishing art and audio.
Progress and Cutting Features
In order to get here I significantly cut what I wanted to do with the second act.
Originally, it was going to have a deductive reasoning section where you figured out the riddle in multiple stages, alongside an emotional conversation about the origin and nature of the dreams to potentially open up the second ending. I cut the deductive reasoning section as it involved the most design work and potentially more artwork and kept the emotional section.
While detective kind of puzzles are totally my jam, it seemed the most logical thing to cut as it only fed into a potential death ending. If I somehow have more time at the end of the jam I might resurrect it.
I did most of the last two week work on the Saturdays, as we’ve been really busy with the house. The situation right now has meant we had to try and get everything up and running in our new house as fast as possible, since we’re stuck here. The general anxiety surrounding corona has really not helped my productivity.
This did help me figure out that when all assets have been sourced it takes me about an hour to write a single scene. With each act having around five scenes, it means I’m not too bad for time if I can find a a free weekend afternoon or manage an hour before work each weekday.
Asset Naming Conventions
One thing I noticed that would help speed up/clarify the writing process is better naming conventions for character sprites. I used descriptive names in a common format like I would at work, but I realised that what I needed was not a description of the character and their expression, but for the name to be the exact emotion the character is displaying, so I can easily drop it in while writing. “Elieen_Sad” is actually much more useful than “Character_Elieen_1024_NormalEyes_PoutMouth”. The second name is a bit of an exaggeration, but its not far off names in most places I’ve worked, where we have so many assets that we need to be that precise.
I seem to be throwing all conventions out the window with this project!
On the topic of sprites and expressions, i seem to have settled on an expression change every two lines being about the correct amount for making things feel alive, while not being too distracting.
While I’ve not done anything major with the UI, I thought it was worth noting some of the lines to change for text, as most of the documentation is outdated and styles are split between options, gui and screens .rpy, making them not always easy to find.
Main Menu Overlay Image = line 392 in Screens.rpy
Main Menu Background Image = line 88 in gui.rpy
Main Menu Font Color = line 29 in gui.rpy
Main Menu Hover Color = line 36 in guy,rpy
Main Menu Music = line 63 in options.rpy
Choices and Dialog
Choice Menu Text Color = line 212 in gui.rpy
Dialog Text Color = line 51 in gui.rpy